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Full text of "Ravenscroft, 150 years : young travelers on the path of knowledge"




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ISO Tears 

Ravenscroft 





t 

p 150 Years 

Ravenscroft 

Young Travelers on the Path of Knowledge 










by Billy Howard '73 
and Laurie Shock 





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Designer: Laurie Shock 
Editor: Julie Auton 
Proofreader: Amy Bauman 

ISBN 978-0-9824779-3-9 
LC 2012903250 
Printed in China 






Text'? 2012 Billy Howard and Laurie Shock 

All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the 

publisher, excepting brief excerpts for use in publicity and reviews. 

Photography £ 2012 Billy Howard, www.BillyHoward.com 

Very special thanks go to Chris Watters for the use of his beautiful photographs appearing on 
pgs. 69- -71; ' Chris Watters. 

ADDITIONAL IMAGE CREDITS: Unless noted below, images are from Ravenscroft 

archives. Ashe County Historical Society: pgs. xii. 10; ©Rebekah Carson: author 

1 of Billy Howard; Christ Church archives: pgs. xii, 8. 12, 14. 17; Library 

of Congress: pgs. 12-13; North Carolina State Archives: pgs. xii, 4-5 

(photograph by Stu Schwartz); Rev Gilbert White. The Natural 

History ofSelbourne, 1879: pg. 2. endshcets; Saint Mary's School 
archives: Painting by |acob Eichholtz in 1830. pg. 7. 



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Published and produced by 

Shock Design Books 

454 Hamilton Street SE, #12 
Atlanta. GA 30316 
Twitter: (*ShockDesignBook 
Web: www.shockdesignbooks.com 



Final note: The portrait of Dr. losiah Ogden 
Watson on page 3 was recreated from a 
poor quality photograph or an oil 

painting. It was rendered to the 
best likeness of him, based 
on all the evidence 
we have at this 
time. 



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Contents 






Acknowledgments 

Dedication 

Introduction 

Ravenscroft Timeline 

A country's independence 

A journey reaching across centuries 

Embarking on a journey 



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Acknowledgments 



The words assembled to create this book were crafted from the shared wisdom of many. Teachers, alum- 
ni, students, administrators, donors, and staff shared their experiences with us and we have tried to honor 
their deep love for Ravenscroft with an accurate reflection of the past, present, and future of the School. 

We sincerely thank the following for taking the time to sit with us, answer our calls, respond to 
our emails and enthusiastically share their experiences at Ravenscroft: Patrick Bailey 'n. Vic Bell 
III '74. Becky Bradley, Denise Colpitts, Ned Gonet, Herbert L. Gupton '53, Payton Hobbs, Doreen 
Kelly, Zaki Haidary '11, Phil Higginson, David Lindquist, Tal Mangum '77 David McChesney Bruce 
Miller, Margaret Mills '76, Mary Moss, Bill Pruden, Fran Pugh, Alfred L. Purrington 1 1 1 '46, Colleen 
Ramsden, Barbara Jean Warren, and Bob Winston III '80. 

Chris Watters generously donated his sports photography The archive he has amassed for the 
School is a treasure, and his commitment to visually documenting life, particularly sports and fine arts, 
at Ravenscroft leaves a historical legaq' few schools can match. 

The story of Ravenscroft starts in Christ Church, and we thank Kay Culp for allowing us access 
to their archives, and Lee Weaver, who not only maintains the buildings but maintains the church his- 
tory as well. 

Davyd Foard Hood's history of Christ Church, To the Glory of God: Christ Church, 1821-1996 is 
an archival treasure trove and was invaluable in our research of the School's beginnings. 

Sharon Hayes at St. Saviour's guided us through the old Tucker Street buildings and brought 
that era alive. 

We owe a debt of gratitude to Susan Ehtesham-Zadeh. author of Ravenscroft School: Story of a 
Southern School Her work allowed us a full understanding of the history of Ravenscroft and stands as the 
essential biography of the School. It is required reading for a complete understanding of the people and 
events that formed Ravenscroft. 

We were guided on our journey by Susan Washburn, who tirelessly researched our questions, 
scheduled interviews, tweaked our words and challenged our assumptions. Her leadership, along with 
guidance from Penny Rogers '93, was the engine behind our effort and we are thankful to have such 
committed partners. 

And finalh, to truly honor all those who have made contributions to Ravenscroft would have 
filled this book with a list of both Raleigh's greatest names and humblest benefactors. We chose instead 
to try to capture the heart and soul of Ravenscroft and hope those reading and viewing will take owner- 
ship of their contributions and proudly hold this book as a tribute to the legacy of their philanthropy, 
both of hearts and resources. 

Ravenscroft is more than a physical campus of buildings. It lives as an ideal in those of us who 
have been there, as students, educators, staff, and supporters. It is the embodiment of our hope and 
faith that education can build a stronger and more ethical world. And that is an impressive legacy for a 
humble parish school started 150 years ago by one man's dream and another's passion. We think they 
would approve. 



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Dedication 



The Teachers of Ravenscroft 

Throughout our research we discovered how Ravenscroft has touched Raleigh, the region, the 
country, and the world through students who entered with the ripe capacity to grow and left with a 
true love of learning and an inspired spirit instilled in the classroom. We found that this fertile and 
nurturing environment has been due to one consistent and precious resource— teachers. 

They are called to a profession where they dedicate decades inside simple rooms adorned 
in crepe paper and imagination while fueling eager minds with a renewable source of energy- 
knowledge. 

First and foremost this book is dedicated to them. Each of us has a place in our hearts and 
a special memory for a teacher that set us right, inspired us, and sped us on a course to discover our 
dreams and passions and compelled us to do our small part in making the world a better place. 

To name them all would be a book of its own. So we ask that you take a brief moment and 
think of a face that smiled at you as you first entered an unfamiliar room in a school only to realize 
dreams larger than the world you knew. 



Introduction 

From a single thought came an action. The thought was that it would be good to educate 
Raleigh's children in a parish environment; the action was a bequest to start that school. 
What followed were the thoughts and actions of many who understood and valued the vision. 

As we celebrate that good thought and the bequest, made more than 150 years ago. we 
realize how many lives have been enriched by the school that would begin at Christ Church and 
grow to be known as Ravenscroft. 

As a 1974 Ravenscroft alumnus and now a father of a Ravenscroft student, I cherish 
Ravenscroft as part of my family's history In the 1960s, I recall hearing the plans being made 
for the School's move to Falls of Neuse, as the Holdings, the Pughs and many others, strived to 
assure that Ravenscroft would thrive and flourish far into the future. 

And now, 1 have had the privilege to serve my school as a trustee and stand beside Head 
of School Doreen Kelly and congratulate the many young faces, bright with their futures, as they 
receive their diplomas. These young people, many of whom I have known since they started 
Kindergarten at Ravenscroft. have their confidence instilled through a stellar education and are 
prepared not only to meet their individual potential but also to shape the future— theirs and 
ours. I am filled with optimism for them and the generations of graduates who will follow them. 

Today's Ravenscroft is a school grateful for the vision of its founders and the many 
dedicated families who have perpetuated and strengthened that vision. 

Please join me in embracing Ravenscroft 's sesquicentennial year by enjoying this 
anniversary book and honoring all those people — past , present, and future, who have a passion- 
ate belief in the education of young minds 



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Chairman of the Board 



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1963 

The first teacher at 
"he Tucker Street school 
location, Annie Tongue. 
after twenty-five years 
Pavenscroft 



Late in the yean Fran and Dr. V. Watson 
Pugh '38 identify I I 5 a 

farm for building a new campus, the board pur- 
chases the land on Falls of Neuse Road, and the 
following January, Ravenscroft is rechartered a 
an independent school without church affiliation. 



1998 

The Bold Initiatives Capital Campaign 
(1998-2001) begins, and Rove 
School: Story of a Southern School, the 
first history book on Ravenscroft is 
written by Susan Ehtesham-Zadeh 
based on 400 pages of painstaking 
research by E. E/'Jack" Carter and 
his wife. Muriel. 



2002 

Ned Fox becomes 
interim head of 

Ravenscroft 



2003 

Doreen C. Kelly becomes 
head of school at Ravenscroft, 
and the Charge to Victory 
Capital Campaign (2003- 
2006) 



2006 

Dedication of young people 
theatre, a new strategic 
plan is accepted, and a 



Ravenscroft 




1974 

In April the A, E. Finley Activity 
Center is dedicated, both the 
boys' and girls' t 
the first of back-to-back s 
championships, and A.J. Fletcher 
establishes a fine arts program 
with a grant of $ 1 0,000 from the 
Fletcher Foundation, 




", . . education implies not 
only thorough instruction 
to fit the student for 
the pursuits of later life, 
but the rudiments, the 
foundation of knowledge. 
It is here that the impedi- 
ments are removed, the 
bridges erected . . . 

— Rev, Dr. Richard S. Mason, 
Rector. Christ Church 1 836 



Opposite: Dr.Josiah Ogden Watson, 

whose $5,000 bequest became 

the birth of Ravenscroft. 



TRUE VISION WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME. 

C )ne hundred and htry years ago, a spark was ignited by Dr. Josiah Ogden Watson's 
\ ision to found a parish school at Christ Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Watson left a 
$5,000 bequest to start a school at the church led by Rev. Dr. Richard Sharpe Mason, w ho 
also had a vision for the teaching of young minds and a passionate belief in education. 

Mason wrote: "It is not good for the soul to be without knowledge Who can tell 
how soon may begin that intellectual disease which is never to be cured . who can tell how 
soon the mind ma)' commence its divergence from the path of truth." 

Education, in Mason's mind, implied building a foundation of knowledge, remov- 
ing impediments, building bridges, and setting a direction for "the young traveler m the 
paths of knowledge." He built a school to guide students "a short distance on the road he is 
afterwards by himself to pursue." 

Ravenscroft, at its very core, has held that path sacred and guided thousands of 
young people to lives fulfilled by a love of learning and giving. Ravenscroft continues 
guiding young minds down the path of truth Drs Mason and Watson envisioned. We 
reflect on the past, while celebrating the present, and dream ot all that Ravenscroft can be 
in the future. We arc well down a path that renews itself each time a new student begins 
his or her journey. 

The vision of two friends, a spiritual and educational leader and a compassion- 
ate doctor and philanthropist, thrives ISO years later. It was a true vision. A school, like 
the young traveler, continues on the path of knowledge, sending young leaders back into 
the world with a spark ignited and kept alive by teachers, administrators, families, and the 
community that is Ravenscroft. 







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A photograph of the original Isaac 
Hunter's Tavern before it was torn 
down. A historic marker credits 
the tavern as being the location 
where North Carolina state 
legislators planned the birth of 
I7Q2. 



brings more than the joy and elation of precious freedom. It also reveals the financial realities ol 
war. the sacrifice of lives lost, and the challenge and excitement to continue building a country with 
the values and intentions o! those who led the way 

Thirteen years after the start ol America's first great war. upon the heels of a financial 
depression that shook the South, a vision of firsts is born At the [788 Convention in I lillsborough. 
delegates decree that a new county seat and state capital be built within ten miles of Isaac I lunter s 
Tavern, a favorite spot of legislators. North Carolina commissioners gather around one of the tavern's 
tables and plan the birth and rise of a great city that will become the new count)' seat and state 
capital Raleigh. A large town square with city blocks lined with oak and hickory trees springs to 
life on paper by the hand of William Christmas in 1792. Within two years, the construction of a 
two-story brick statehouse is completed, and in six more years, the population rises to 669. 
As North Carolina leaders envision the rise of a new state capital, sixteen-year- 
old ]ohn Stark Ravenscroft departs by boat from Great Britain to return to his birth home 
)f Virginia. Raised in Scotland, |olm loses his father when he is nine years old, after which 
his mother, Lillias, cares for her only child alone An intelligent, determined woman. 
Lillias sees to it that her son enjoys every educational advantage available. Little does she 
know that the educational values she instills in him are the beginning thread that will 
weave a path into the twenty-first century 



This is the story of paths, of common threads, of greatness that comes from a 
passion connected b\ hearts and hands across generations and time. A connection 
that culminates in a school that is more familial than institutional, with an organic 

spirit and energy that grow exponentially through the lives of everyone it touches and the 

cirv that rises with it. 



Following the .American Revolution, the Church of England begins disappearing from the newh 
free nation as Anglican clergy loyal to the King close their churches in great numbers In [789, 
the Episcopal Church permanently separates from the Church of England, and in [817 the same 
year Ravenscroft is ordained deacon, the Episcopal Church accepts the Diocese of North Carolina 



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Site of the future Christ 
Church and the parish 
school that v 
to be Ravenscroft. 



Top: Plans for the city of Raleigh 
drawn by William Christmas in 
I 792. Left Construction on a 
two-story brick state capitol 
was completed in I 794. 



Opposite: John Stork Ravenscrofi, 
upon saving his father's estate from 
ruin in / 789, enrolled at William 
and Mary College to study law. He 
married and adopted five children 
before applying for Holy Orders 
within the Episcopal Church. 



into its fold to be overseen by Bishop Richard Channing Moore of the Virginia Diocese. But an 
unwavering vision is growing through the southeast to erect an Episcopal Church in the newly 
born capital In August of [821, while gathered together in a home filled with dreams of a new 
church, a group of like-minded Christian friends elect a vestry and officially commit to form the 
Congregation of Christ Church. 

By 1823, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is still without a resident bishop, and 
Christ Church, while growing strong in membership, remains without a physical building in which 
to worship. But on May 23, at the general convention at Philadelphia, Ravenscroft is officially- 
consecrated as the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. In addition to his role 
as bishop. Ravenscroft also agrees to a dual role as the first rector of Christ Church in Raleigh. 
Known as "Mad lack" during his college years, his commanding presence and strong convictions 
set a powerful precedent for the direction of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina. As he said 
to a fellow clergyman: 

Brother Green, I have one advantage over you; while you were brought up in 
the fear of God and in ignorance of the great wickedness that is going on in 
the world, I know all about the ways of sinners, and can therefore track the 
scoundrels into all their dens and hiding places and strip them of their self- 
conceits and refuges of lies. 

With Bishop Ravenscroft's leadership now in place, providence envelopes Christ Church 
with a bequest of perhaps as much as $16,000 by a parishioner from Trinity Episcopal Church, 
eighty miles east of Raleigh in Tarboro. Mary " Jackey" Sumner Blount, a widow of Major General 
Thomas Blount, had signed a will one year earlier for S16.OOO to be placed in a trust to build an 
Episcopal Church in the city of Raleigh, the first gift of its kind given to any Episcopal Church in 
North Carolina Upon news of the bequest, Christ Church Vestry begins raising additional funds 
to build a church on the northeast corner of Union Square across from the Capitol building. In 
i82Q. the small wooden church opens its doors to grateful parishioners who previously had been 
renting space for services. While Bishop Ravenscroft resigned his position as rector one year 
earlier, he is blessedly present for the consecration of Christ Church's first building. Sadly, it is to 
be his last service performed as bishop before his death in March of 1830, following a prolonged 
illness. Lovingly laid to rest beneath the chancel of Christ Church, his influence and legacy are not 
to be fully realized for at least another century 



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Rev, Dr. Richard Sharpe Mason 
became rector of Christ Church in 
1840. His empassioned belief in 
education for children compelled 
him to honor Dr.Josiah Ogden 
Watson's dream to found a 
parochial school. Opposite: A 
detail of Dr. Watson's will and 
his $5,000 bequest to hire a 
teacher for a school at 
Christ Church. 




In [840, the third rector of Christ Church, Rev Dr, George Washington Freeman, resigns 
Ins position and is succeeded by Rev. Dr Richard sharpe Mason Rev Mason's close personal 
fnend Dr fosiah Ogden Watson, is confirmed in Christ Church and becomes an active and 
philanthropic parishioner The two have much in common, significant!)', their shared vision of 
the importance of education in the lives of children. In the early- to mid nineteenth century 
it was quite common to have ministers interested and even engaged in the education of their 
community's youth Ministers were leaders of their community and many times the most-educated 
people, so it was onl\ natural that they were often involved in educational endeavors. 

Ardent passion is not enough to describe the level of devotion both Rev. Mason and Dr 
Watson felt in bringing quality education to the young children of Raleigh What Dr Watson 
cannot accomplish in his lifetime however, he is determined to achieve upon his death On June 
12, I.XS2. Dr. Watson dies at his Raleigh estate, Sharon, and in his will bequeaths $5,000 to be 
invested to start a school at Christ Church. Rev Mason, who had been president of both Geneva 
College (now Hobart College) and Newark College, does not require additional persuading to 
realize Dr. Watson's dream. 

"It is not good for the soul to be without knowledge." Rev, Mason says, merging 
faith and philosophy into his belief that education was necessary to keep on 
"the path of truth " I [onoring his friend's wishes was fulfilling his own 

In Jeily [883, Raleigh's newspaper, The News and Observer, reports 
that the School had been founded and was operating until the Civil 
War began in [86] I low ever, early church records are sporadic and 
incomplete, so there is nothing in the Christ Church archives to describe 
the earh- educational instruction if it did occur Prior 
to the Civil War, the South had not built a strong 
educational infrastructure. When the war ended 
in [865, the South was devastated physically and 
financially with an epidemic of closed schools 
and businesses. Understandably, if the School 
had begun before the war, it would have been 
nearly impossible to continue 

I listorv is filled with tangents, points 
where a path diverts due to the capricious 
foibles of humanity- a misplaced numeral. 




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Above: Mrs. Jennie Henry, third from 
the left, was hired as the first teacher 
and principal for Christ Church School 
when it opened its doors in 1 868, 
Here she is seen to the right of her 
son-in-law, J. 0. Wilcox, who married 
her daughter, Margaret, standing 
to the left of MrWilcox.lhey are 
flanked by the Wilcox children and 
baby Margaret in the arms of an 
unidentified woman standing to the 
right of Mrs, Henry 



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„ little girl whose name » *£> 
Morris. Her father w« »-W . Ub fenuly -" 

, md therefore ** -£•£ ^ hc „. „otb indolent 

ind ependoneo and co,„fo,t, bn , ^^ w<jm 

an o profligate. His w* > ■ 1 r BOto ble nppear- 
„,,„ m ade every effor t. P «- ^ ^ fc ^ dutJ to 
a „„e among her »««^ ra ' ^ , to vast respon- 

^L-nn^-^r^toher 
her sensitive heart. »--- ^ fronl tUe filing 
feeble hand for bread as , • dil . ln g mother 

^ndsof winter. Many ■ f* „ m „„ e , of food, 

gon e to her - rfcV ^ ^^a „f the pain of hnnger 

Mary "as the eiue. 



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and future events are impacted in unexpected ways. In one such moment, the will belonging to Dr. 
Watson had originally been entered into Johnston County Court since most of his properties were 
there when he died. Ten years later, when the will was then entered into the Wake County court 
records, human error caused the probate date to be recorded as 1862 rather than 1852. The minor 
detail, a clerical error in Dr. Watson's will, creates the moment we celebrate as our founding as the 
plans for the School officially take form. 

Rev. Richard Mason makes good on his vow to honor Dr. Watson's dream and Christ 
Church School opens its doors for the first time. With recently widowed Mrs. Jennie Henry as the 
school's first teacher, somewhere between sixty and seventy students are welcomed into the parish 
school, a small wooden building on the north side of the church facing the capital on Union Square, 
ringed by lovely maturing oaks and elms. 

Almost ten years earlier. Rev. Mason's wife, Mary Ann Bryan Mason, published the first 
illustrated children's book by a woman author in North Carolina. Entitled A Wreath from the Woods of 
Carolina, it is a collection of eleven stories that teach the importance of truth, honesty, and other moral 
lessons. It is possible that students were taught from that book in some of the early classes at Christ 
Church School. Although there is no record of it, at the very least, it reveals the level of devotion both 
to education and to children that abounded within the hearts of those at Christ Church. 



The Panic of 1873 arrives in autumn, and unemployment rises to 14 percent 
over the next five years. The following year, school enrollment drops to 
50 students. While classes are free at Christ Church School, the financial 
crisis impacts families in more ways than one can imagine and causes 
admission to fall. Enrollment drops to a low of 28 students until the 
economic recovery takes hold, and then a staggering 125 students are 
enrolled for the 1885 school year. Church records tell a story of Mrs. 
Henry not only running the School but also attending baptisms and 
other important family events in the lives of her students and their 
families. It is apparent there is concern and care for each student 
that goes beyond the daily lessons in class. All seems to progress 
smoothly until talk begins of transforming the School into an 
"industrial" facility and moving it to a new location. 




Left Rev. Mason's wife, Mary Ann 
Bryan Mason, published a book 
of moral lessons for children, A 
Wreath from the Woods of 
Carolina in 1 859. Written from the 
heart and desire of one devoted to 
children's education, it was the first 
illustrated book for children in North 
Carolina by a woman author. 



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The first students to benefit from 
Dr Watson's bequest met in this 
modest wood building on the north 
side of Christ Church. Originally 
facing the capitol building, several 
years later it was enlarged and 
turned to face Edenton Street. This 
area 1910 photograph is the only 
known image of the first school. It 
overlays an illustration of downtown 
Raleigh m 1872. 






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Above: The original St. Saviour's Mission 
Chapel that opened its doors on Sep- 
tember 9, / 894. Opposite: St. Saviours 
Chapel officially becomes St. Saviour's 
Church, and a beautiful stone Gothic- 
Revival Chapel is completed in 1 927, 



Soon after the mention of possibly moving the School, enrollment drops to thirty-two students, 
and in [891, Mrs. Henry resigns her position and moves to Ashe County in Western North 
Carolina. The church decides to delay hiring a new teacher to focus on a new mission chapel 
they plan to build on the west side of town. The School experiences a three-year dormancy, 
marking the end of its first incarnation. 

Despite another economic crisis in 1893 that launches a four-year depression, Christ 

Church manages to open its new mission chapel, St. Saviour's, on September 9, 
1894, on Johnson and West Streets in Raleigh. The School reopens the 
very next day within the welcoming walls of St. Saviour's, and in 
one year, fifty-two students are enrolled with two teachers on staff. 

As Raleigh's population increases to 19.218 in 1910, 
school enrollment over the years seesaws significantly. By 1912, 
only eighteen students are enrolled, and Christ Church is in debt 
to the Watson school fund by S4.615.91. A year later, a legal claim 
is made against the church for unpaid interest, and the following 
year. World War I begins in Europe. 

By the time the war ends in 1918. St. Saviour's 
Chapel has officially become St. Saviour's Church, and there is 
no record of the parish school having been in operation since 
1912. Raleigh's population continues to flourish, as does the 
congregation at St. Saviour's. Christ Church Vestry decides to 
purchase a city block bordering Tucker and Johnson Streets, 
where they plan to construct a stone chapel, parish house, and 
rectory with generous donations by several parishioners. 

The largest contribution comes from lifelong church 
member, Ernest Haywood, whose brother Edgar had died in 
1924, leaving him a substantial inheritance. Ernest contributes 
$40,000 to be used to build the new chapel, asking that it be 
known as The Edgar Haywood Memorial Chapel. The current Rector, Rev Boston McGee 
Lackey, is overwhelmed with gratitude and, in a letter, expresses his conviction that the generous 
gift stand as a memorial to both brothers, noting their benevolent and noble hearts. On August 
<-), [927, the cornerstone is laid as the beautiful Gothic Revival stone chapel rises proudly on 
Tucker Street along with an education wing and a new stone veneer rectory. 




<s*' ,*&^», 



Years pass as the church congregation continues to grow 
and the Great Depression devastates the country from coast to 
coast. With the climate of the deteriorating economy, Christ 
Church struggles to meet its operating expenses, and in order to 
remain open, must resort to using money that had been slated for 
special projects. Christ Church Rector Rev. Dr. Milton Barber is 
successful in seeing the church through this difficult time in history, 
but the stress takes its toll and on March 27 1935, he suffers a seri- 
ous stroke that forces him to resign six months later. His contribu- 
tion and service to the church are enormous, and he becomes the 
second rector emeritus in the history of Christ Church. 

A search for a replacement rector leads the vestry to three 
Episcopal clergymen who all decline the inquiry. It takes a second 
call to Rev. John Armstrong Wright in Augusta, Georgia, to per- 
suade him to lead as rector at Christ Church. It was Rev. Wright, 
who shortly upon assuming his new position in October 1936, 
rediscovers Dr. Watson's original school fund earning interest. 
This discovery compels Rev. Wright to approach the vestry with a 
proposal to reopen the parish school. A committee is formed, and 
in June, the committee members propose that the school include 
Kindergarten through fourth grade to begin the coming fall with 
an approved expense of S500 to go toward school equipment 
On June 21, 1937 it is decided that the School be officially named 
Ravenscroft after Bishop Ravenscroft. One hundred and fifty-six 
years after Ravenscroft 's mother devoted herself to ensuring the 
best educational opportunities for her son, a school is now named 
in his honor to continue that legacy. 



Ultimately, it isn't financial resources, nor the planed 
wood planks, nor the bricks and mortar that make a school, but 
the selfless educators and their gift for reaching young souls and 
giving birth to a passion for learning. Teachers, who nurture. 





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Above: Rev. John Armstrong Wnght 
discovers Dr. Watson's original school 
fund earning interest and proposes 
to reopen the school at St. Saviour's. 
Opposite-This original stained glass 
window from Ravenscroft School at 
St Saviour's is being stored until it can 
be incorporated into the School's next 
phase of expansion. 



fesSfefl J 




challenge, and enable eager students with the tools of critical and 
imaginative thinking, are the true foundation of a school. Instilled 
with an explorer's quest for knowledge, students navigate with their 
own compass a personal journey into the world. This is the journey 
envisioned by Rev. Mason, leading "the young traveler in the paths 
of knowledge." 

In the same tradition as Mrs. Henry in 1868, a familial 
environment becomes the strength of the newly christened Raven - 
scroft. The inspiring leadership and care of two brilliant educators, 
Miss Nancy Davis Lee and Mrs. Annie Hardy Tongue, become the 
mortar holding together this incarnation of the small church school. 
Mrs. Tongue is hired as the first teacher and Miss Lee, affectionately 
known as "Miss Nannie," as principal and first-grade teacher. With a 
nine-month schedule, one month longer than Raleigh public schools, 
Ravenscroft opens September 13, 1937, to 135 students at a cost of 
$6.50-57.00 monthly per child. Tireless, lifelong learners themselves. 
Miss Nannie and Mrs. Tongue lead classrooms filled with energy and 
genuine warmth. An immediate success, attendance swells, challeng- 
ing the School's physical confines but not sacrificing the quality of 
education. Still, strategies are brainstormed for building new space 
and expanding the School despite limited financial means. 




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Above: Miss Nancy Davis Lee 
becomes principal at Ravenscroft. 
Opposite; The original staff of 
Ravenscroft when it opened on Tucker 
Street in St. Saviour's. Overleaf. Beloved 
teacher. Mrs. Annie Hardy Tongue, 
stands with her class in front of 
Ravenscroft on Tucker Street. 



Principal and First Year 
Miss Nancy D. Lee 



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Above: The very first Ravenscroft 
annual, The Raven, was created in 
I 940. and dedicated to Miss Nancy 
Lee. Opposite: Class is held in a Quon- 
set hut on church-school grounds due 
to student enrollment growing beyond 
building capacity. 



As World War 1 1 begins, the School's financial challenges 
build and, in I944. Rev. Wright resigns his position as rector to 
join the armed forces as a Lieutenant Chaplin. School enrollment 
continues to grow beyond the School's capacity. School 
physician and trustee. Or. Aldert S. Root, manages to 
raise $8,037. which is used to install a cozy Quonset hut 
(a prefabricated round-roof steel structure), com- 
plete with potbellied stove, where classes can be held. 
Students continue to flock to Ravenscroft, the war 
doing nothing to deter the conviction and passion to 
shepherd the School's growth despite its man) budget 
and physical constraints. Before resigning in [951, 
Dr. Root embarks on another fund-raising campaign 
with a vision to build a new, modern school finan- 
cially and physically separate from the church. While 
his dream is delayed by economic difficulties sur- 
rounding the Korean War, it is shared by another 
supporter and trustee, Ivlr. L : . F. "lack" Carter, who 
continues to raise money and guide Ravenscroft's 
direction as the church begins losing interest in 
supporting the School. 

The day finally arrives on January 17, 
1966, when Christ Church votes to terminate 
its operation of the School. A committee, the 
Friends of Ravenscroft, is quickly formed to 
operate the School independently of Christ Church, and, on 
February 21, a formal agreement is signed with Mrs. Mary Ann 
Broughton as acting chairperson. Thus begins a long and complex 
separation from the church that while, both joyous and painful at 
times, marks yet another rebirth for Ravenscroft that ensures its 
continuing presence and attracts prominent leaders in the Raleigh 
community Their insightful vision will fulfill Dr Watson's bequest 
in ways he could never have imagined. 





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full-costumed Christmas Pageant held 
every year at Christ Church. 



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Robert P. Holding Jr., one of the most enlightened visionaries in Ravenscroft's history, is 
elected as chair of the board of trustees in September 1967 With his progressive vision as well as 
the desire of Headmaster John N. Tuplin, Ravenscroft takes its first steps toward true greatness, 
beginning with a donation of $750,000 by Robert and his brother, Lewis R. "Snow" Holding. A 
donation to be matched by the board, the Holdings' contribution launches Phases I and 1 1 toward 
the goal of reaching S5 million to purchase land and build a school, transforming Ravenscroft into 
Raleigh's first college preparatory school for grades pre- Kindergarten through twelve. 

Additional support immediately follows the Holdings' lead, beginning with Victor E. Bell 
Jr., Mary Ann Broughton, Jack Carter, and parents of Ravenscroft students, Fran and Dr. Watson 
Pugh '38, who become invaluable to the future development of the School. In January of 1969, as 
grand construction plans are drawn and a vision sharpens, Ravenscroft officially separates from 
Christ Church, yet maintains a spiritual foundation in its approach to education. 

The vision and finances all seemed to be falling into place, with one question remaining: 
where to build the School? The answer soon comes from two of the School's greatest support- 
ers, Fran and Dr. Watson Pugh '38. In a meeting with Robert Holding, they alert him to 115 acres 
of land available for purchase on Falls of Neuse Road near their horse farm. While this location 
is well north of downtown, the Research Triangle Park has become an employment draw and 
Raleigh's population nears 122,000 people. This provides even more evidence that an innovative 
college preparatory school is needed and building it north of the city will be the perfect location 
as more families begin moving near what eventually would become the most prominent high- 
tech research and development center in the country. Although 
some supporters still disagree with the School's proposed 
location, the land is purchased and the School conducts its 
final graduation ceremony at the Tucker Street location on 
June 4, 1969. 

While the Tucker Street days are filled with great 
progress and treasured memories, an era must end to 
allow a new and exciting one to begin, all while keeping true 
to the original vision of the School and its most important 
mission— to discover the passions that reside in each indi- 
vidual child and guide each along his or her own personal 
path to a love of life-long learning. 





Opposite: Robert Holding shakes 
the hand of A. £ Finley, a prominent 
Raleigh businessman and a generous 
contributor to Ravenscroft's transfor- 
mation into an independent college 
preparatory school. Above: Fran Pugh, 
along with her husband Watson 38, 
identified the available land on Falls 
of Neuse Road for building the new 
Ravenscroft campus. Fran has served 
on the board for over forty consecutive 
years and continues to be one of 
the most prominent supporters of 
Ravenscroft. LeftTeachers at Tucker 
Street hanging student art on a 
classroom wall. 



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In 1862, a seed was sown deep into 

the Jives of our children and our 

community. From that seed has 

come great minds, great talent, 

and great hope for our future. 



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"There's an energy you feel around 
the School, it's electric, you feel it in 
every grade. " 

— Patrick Bailey 'I I and 
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"Every facility built on this 1 25-acre campus 
has been due to the generous support of 
families. We all share a vision, and these 
impactful gifts change the life of each and 
every child at Ravenscroft." 

— David bndquist 

former Ravenscroft Director of Development, 

Parent of Alumnae 




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There is only one child 
in the world and the 
Child's name is All 
Children. 

— Carl Sandburg 




was born of a simple dream to start a small parish school in Raleigh's Christ Church. A visionary 
bequest became the first cobblestone in a path stretching into a new millennium, worn smooth 
by the promises kept to thousands of young learners. The man with the dream. Dr. Josiah Ogden 
Watson, would be followed by others shepherding the dream and watching it grow. 

Could he have envisioned the lives changed through his singular act of generosity? It is 
beyond imagination. One teacher in a small parish school laid a foundation. Thriving into a new 
millenium, the humble School has become an internationally-recognized model for the education 
and preparation of its most precious resource: children. 

As students traversed the years, the School grew, moved, and grew some more. It soon 
grew beyond its capacity with teachers and students tucked into bell towers and under stairwells. 
With the concerted effort of ardent supporters, Ravenscroft advanced into the modern era to an 
expansive new campus on Falls of Neusc Road, where growth was limited only by imagination — 
and imagination seemed limitless 

We pause in a moment of reflection— arbitrarily, we create touchstones from historical 
markers, and 150 years is an appropriate place to honor the past, examine the present, and con- 
template the future. The legacy of Dr. Watson's dream is the imagination of a future untethered 
by our own bounded knowledge, surely as our present was unimaginable to him. It is a future 
grounded in the faith that each successive generation will make use of the most advanced 
resources to prepare young minds for a world quite different from ours now, a world that 
be passed into their care. 



Enveloped by stately oaks and magnolias. Ravenscroft 's stone columns and 
iron-picketed gates open graciously to reveal a sprawling campus connected by rolling 
hills and meandering walkways, carefully planned with classrooms, laboratories, 
theaters, libraries, open spaces, and athletic fields. And while the setting is distinctly 
modern, it retains the familial environment for learning and growth that can be 
traced back to the first classroom in a small wooden building next to Christ Church. 
Generosity, commitment, and a clear vision are threads woven 
through the Ravenscroft fabric creating a tapestry of faculty, staff, alumni, 
students, and families all intertwined with a passion for lifelong learning. 



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Before the buildings were raised, before the iconic Murphy Bell Tower first marked the 
hour, a master plan was devised with trailers serving as classrooms on the new 1\ purchased acres of 
countryside on Falls of Neuse Road "The vision of another dreamer shaped this new incarnation as 
Robert Holding forged an idea and lit a fire that consumed incredible obstacles. 

Vision, in the metaphorical sense, is the ability to see beyond current trends and convic- 
tions to a different reality While the pervading mindset considered balls of Neuse as too tar from 
Raleigh's center with few willing to drive the distance, I folding had a bolder and longer view, I lis 
faith in that \ ision would become one of the cornerstones ol a growing city, and Ravenscroft now 
sits in the geographic center of the city's population. 

He was not alone. The story of Ravenscroft in the last hall of the twentieth century was 
one of a community putting its faith and financial support into building a school that would never 
pause in the pursuit of excellence, but instead, met the challenges of a rapidly changing world Like 
a Midwestern barn-raising, Ravenscroft was built by the passion and efforts of many; civic leaders, 
families, teachers, administrators, and staff, pitching in building not a barn, but a school 
with children entering even' day, endowed with books and dreams 

Strolling among the roses and beneath the magnolias, passing through the 
arches of the Murphy Bell Tower, and entering one ot fifteen buildings 
that dot the rolling 125-acre campus is to travel a 
path laid out over ISO years. 

Tucker Street created the launching pad 
from which the current incarnation sprang, 
bestowing the name and encompassing 
core values that moved, along with 
students, gifted faculty, and staff 




to its present expansive location. For more than thirty years, the School nurtured and taught a core 
or Raleigh's youth in an atmosphere that is fondly and emotionally invoked as family. For those 
alumni, there is a deep connection to the classrooms in St. Saviour's parish house and the army 
surplus Quonset hut where they received lessons that would guide them through life. 

Herbert L. Gupton Jr., a 1953 graduate, recalls a deep sense of community at the School, 
promoting high moral standards and character, which offered him and his classmates the incentive 
to learn and prosper both as students and citizens. 

Ravenscroft has evolved from the homogeneous student body of Tucker Street to a di- 
verse community of students, but, according to Gupton, has maintained its strong sense of com- 
munity and its connection with earlier Ravenscroft students. 

"It's an excellent part of the educational system and an important part of the community 
at large. The Ravenscroft experience then, as now, goes a long way toward accomplishing the goals 
of youth to grow, learn, and connect with others and, therefore, prosper in the community," 

Gupton says, crediting his days at the Tucker Street campus with an enduring con- 
nection to the School. 

The School's path has always contained obstacles to over- 
come, and the limited size of the Tucker Street school coupled with 
the needs of the city, presenr a decisive moment to step forward 
onto the freshly mowed fields of grass and the pine forested land 
of a new campus. 




An architectural sketch of the Library 
& Technology Center which was built 
on Ravenscrofi's Falls ofNeuse cam- 
pus and opened in 2001. 



"When I look around and 
see the School, . . . it just 
amazes me to think that 
it was a bare patch of 
land with a lot of trees on 
it. That first year, we had 
nothing but trailers and 
blacktop." 

— Margaret Mills 76 

Ravenscrofi Associate Director 

of Admissions and Marketing, 

2012-1 3 Alumni Council President. 

Parent of Alumnus 



of Neuse campus. A blast of dynamite on March 24, 1970, punctuates the move into the modern 
era at Ravenscroft, dramatically marking the groundbreaking for the first permanent building. 

The new location provides a treasured commodity unavailable on Tucker Street space. 
Room for growth means more students, and the small school begins adding grades, soon to become 
a full-fledged college preparatory school with students 111 pre- Kindergarten through twelfth grades. 

This grand expansion is accompanied by a fear that the intimate, family environment of 
Tucker Street might be lost as an alchemy of another order takes place. The fears prove unfounded 
as educators emphasize nurturing the individual student's talent and potential through close rela- 
tionships with teachers in a trusting atmosphere with limited regimentation. 

This is the true beginning of a new heart and soul for Ravenscroft. Headmaster |ohn 
Tuplin, who helped transition the School to its new location, articulated this approach: " I he 
student is the most important part of the structure of the School. It is not the purpose ot the 
School to set a pattern and then fit every student into it; it is rather the attempt to individualize 
each youngster's education as much as possible ." 

The excitement of this new period was felt by student Vic Bell 1 1 1 '74. His father. Vic Jr., 
was instrumental in the School's move, and Bell entered as a sophomore in 1969. 

I came in the tenth grade, and it was just the beginnings of the School -you 
could feel the excitement. You could feel a lot of things to come. Of course, the 
rules were being written, and 1 remember the student government was asked to 
write the rules for the high school, and that was very exciting You don't get many 
chances to write the rules for the school you attend. 



Bell III. who has experienced Ravenscroft as a student, parent, and as leader of the board, 
is a testament to the power of that innovation, which both embraces the history of the School and 
crystallizes the core values that have remained at the center of its educational promise. 

An exciting pioneer spirit is shared by the early students and staff on the new campus 
as they gather in trailers for class. Margaret Mills '76. remembers the move to the new campus in 
1969. She was a student and her entire class fit into one trailer. 

They had a big vision. When I look around and see the School and how it has ma 
tured. grown and taken shape, it just amazes me to think that it was a bare patch ol 
land with a lot of trees on it That first year, we had nothing but trailers and blacktop. 



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It is Ravenscroft she credits with setting her sights on goals and accomplishments beyond 
her imagination. " 1 always felt cared for. I felt it was a safe environment in which to try some new 
things, even if I made mistakes. I always felt as though I was valued for who I was. My teachers 
knew my strengths; they knew my weaknesses. They knew when I made mistakes; they knew 
when I did something good. But I always felt as though, at the end of the day, I'd be appreciated 
for who I was." 

Thirty-two members of the first senior class proudly cross an outdoor stage to receive 
their diplomas on June 6, 1973. iln d Ravenscroft comes of age as a full-fledged college prepara- 
tory, independent school. Holding, who had done so much to make this day possible, speaks to the 
graduates, exhorting them to "seek credible and moral approaches and solutions" to the issues they 
will face in life. He reminds them that they have received a valuable education and will be held ac- 
countable to it. 

As the final students descend the stage and move their tassels from right to left, 
Ravenscroft reaches the other side of a journey begun long ago. It has fulfilled its promise, and 
these new graduates enter the world with both heart and wisdom. This cycle has repeated itself 
time and again, and the evidence of its power is in the successful and diverse lives of its many 
graduates. Leaders in the arts, business, science, and humanities can all trace their core values 
back to the lessons they learned in the trailers, classrooms, theaters, athletic fields, and libraries 
of Ravenscroft. 

The next decades see both growth and setbacks with economic and societal challenges; 
yet, the core value at the heart of the School remains, distilled by Bruce Miller, retired assistant 
head of school and honored teacher, in one of the early philosophical statements at the new 
campus: 

Inherent in Ravenscroft is an ever-present concern for the higher ideals in life; 
among them integrity, self-confidence, intellectual curiosity, creativity, convic- 
tion, sportsmanship, and service. It is these qualities, coupled with achievement 
in the classroom, in the studio, and on the playing field, which constitute the 
spirit of excellence sought by the School for all of its students 

These ideals are enhanced over the years, adapted to clearly guide each area of the 
School's mission with specific goals. An overall vision, consisting of key elements for academics, 
community, the environment, the educational journey, and personal relationships at the School 



'The move to Foils of 
Neuse was a powerful 
vision, and the Holdings 
were good at looking ahead 
and taking some risk and 
bringing other people 
along." 

— Vic Bell III 74 

Ravenscroft Board of Trustees, 

1986-1991,2007-2012 

Chairman, Board of Trustees, 

2009-2012 




provide a map to a community grounded in the values 
of an engaged mind, an ethical character, an aesthetic 
appreciation, a healthy lifestyle, and a spiritual founda- 
tion based on courage, respect, responsibility, dedica- 
tion, spirit, honor, and compassion. 

The academic plans and vision may use 
eloquent prose to describe the school mission, but the 
words of students themselves are the actual evidence of 
the Ravenscroft spirit. Zaki Haidary a 2011 graduate, 
entered as a freshman and was amazed at the intimacy 
of his class and their willingness to accept a newcomer 
into their ranks. 

And while social acceptance is important. 
Haidary came to the School because he wanted a more 
academically demanding setting. "I've been challenged 
in evety grade level, and every class gives you the op- 
portunity to grow as a person and as a scholar." 

But he received something in his education he 
hadn't expected. 

Ravenscroft does a great job with the 
concrete things — math, science, read- 
ing—but, the real lesson from my four 
years is the 'softer' skills. It's being able 
to stand up in front of a group and 
hold your own and speak your mind; 
it's being able to manage your time 
well; it's being able to attack a group 
project and get things done. And with 
the rigorous level and course loads, you 
learn a lot of things about yourself. 



"Each student at 
Ravenscroft has at least 
one teacher with whom 
they strongly identify." 

— Patrick Bailey 'I I 
former student body president 



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Patrick Bailey, a 2011 graduate, a "lifer" at Ravenscroft and former student body 
president, is best friends with a young man he met on his first day at Kindergarten. "I've been 
with the same core people since Kindergarten. I know everybody's brothers and sisters, mothers, 
grandparents, where they go to church. Outside of the classroom, everything is as if it's a family" 

And that family includes teachers. Each student at Ravenscroft, according to Bailey, has at 
least one teacher with whom they strongly identify. In Bailey's case, a math teacher from sixth grade 
continues to offer him advice and encouragement, years after having been in his class. "They really 
do nurture you here. They're not babying us, but it's something you don't get at a big school." 

The nurturing and individualized teaching begins at the earliest levels. Students in the 
Lower School read authentic literature, moving away from commercialized text packaged for 
entire classes to books chosen for each student's interest. "So a student interested in basketball can 
be reading next to another child reading about a princess. We teach skills and strategies that can be 
applied to any text, so we can feed off any student and their passions and interests." according to 
Head of Lower School Payton Hobbs. 

"The students are better able to understand themselves as learners and are more in tune 
with themselves. Their engagement increases, and they consume books and more books because 
they are able to read things that are interesting to them," Hobbs says. 

The roller coaster and adventure that is middle school has its own unique challenges and 
rewards, according to Head of Middle School Denise Colpitts. 

Our challenge is to grow them and move the students forward on the journey as 
far as we can take them, respecting that they are all going to be at different places. 
It's an exciting time when you can still make a real impact on lads and help them 
as they are challenged to make good decisions and do the right thing. 



"Four generations of my 
family have walked the 
halls of Ravenscroft. My 
father sat on the Vestry 
of Christ Church when 
they made the decision to 
reopen the school at St. 
Saviour's, which is where I 
was a student in the '30s 
and '40s. I'm proud to say 
that my children went on 
to attend Ravenscroft as 
do my grandchildren now." 

— Alfred L Purrington III '46 



Community service at Ravenscroft was born in a Middle School program over thirty years 
ago and quickly spread to the rest of the student body. The heart of the program is helping adoles- 
cents look beyond themselves to both the larger Ravenscroft community, the needs of their own 
communities, and ultimately the world. 

"They can be a good, caring person; they can be a contributor to society; they can be an 
independent learner that's what we strive for when our children leave us, that they have a little 
more confidence, a little more independence, and that they understand what it means to look 
outside of themselves," Colpitts says. 






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Ravenscroft students face a dizzying array of options, including twenty-seven advanced 
placement courses, dozens of special-interest clubs, studio arts, music, drama, study-abroad pro- 
grams, and enough team and intramural sports to appeal to students with a broad range of inter- 
national backgrounds and interests. 

Bill Pruden, head of Upper School, understands the demands on students. "Everybody 
wants more; teachers assign more homework, coaches have longer practices, the fine arts has lon- 
ger rehearsals than they did a generation ago. but nobody's invented a twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth 
hour in the day to do it all in." 

A constant balancing act between academics, athletics, and fine arts, both on an insti- 
tutional level and an individual student level, creates a lively tension in the development of each 
child's growth and fosters time-management skills — preparing students for the challenges they will 
face in college and beyond. 

The mission for the fine arts program, according to Dr. David McChesney, director of fine 
arts, is to give students a combination of competence and confidence in the arts. "Our goal is to 
provide an environment in which students with talent, interest, and passion in fine arts have fertile 
ground to develop their craft and take it to the next level. They've been given the foundation that 
allows them to soar." 

Dr. McChesney strives for a robust program, providing opportunities for students to be 
involved in something both dynamic and extraordinary. 

Ravenscroft knows how important fine arts are to the development of children 
and culture and society. It's great that we can expose children to the high level 
of opportunities available within the fine arts, the aesthetic value of arts and 
their enrichment of life, as well as how necessary it is for society and cities to 
be supporters of fine arts— visual, dance, music, drama, and musical theater. At 
Ravenscroft, we recognize the value of what's going on in fine arts, acknowledge 
its importance, and balance it with academics and athletics. 

Maintaining the relevance of fine arts in the classroom is an equal challenge to the efforts 
in academics within our modern culture in which technological advancements expand student 
experiences. "The goal is to keep moving forward as we craft both a compelling and useful curricu- 
lum for students as they advance in this twenty-first century." 




". . . we recognize the 
value of what's going on 
in fine arts, acknowledge 
its importance, and bal- 
ance it with academics 
and athletics." 

— Dr. David McChesney 
Director of Fine Arts 






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The tradition began 
with Coach Bill Holleman, 
credited with bringing the 
sport of soccer to Raleigh, 
and earning back-to-back 
state championships for 
the School in the late 70s. 



Before the first grass seeds had fully sprouted. 

Ravenscroft athletics had a powerful impact 

on life at the School and quickly became 
ngrained in the culture, as coaches 
in a burgeoning athletics program 
pursued excellence on the playing 
fields and courts. 

Soccer, football, tennis, and 
basketball teams all won state 
championships, some several 
times, before the '70s drew to 
a close - truly remarkable for 
a school that a decade earlier 
only graduated eighth-graders. 
Athletics, the third component of an education 
alongside academics and fine arts, draws more than 80 percent 
of Middle and Upper School students into one of twenty-five 
different sports and fifty-three various teams. 

"We've been a pioneer in launching sports, such as 
boys' lacrosse, girls' field hockey, girls' lacrosse, and girls' golf 
We were the journeymen, and people have followed us, and it 
has become a very important part of our state fabric," according 
to Athletic Director Ned Gonet. 

That tradition began with Coach Bill Holleman, 
credited with bringing the sport of soccer to Raleigh and 
earning back-to-back state championships for the School 
in the late '70s. 

Athletics at Ravenscroft strives to impart lessons of 
leadership, discipline, time management, and cooperation. "I 
think all these things capture significantly what a young per- 
son needs to move on in life." Gonet says. "As they go beyond 
academics, it helps them be successful in their careers and be 
good husbands and wives. There are a lot of things we talk about 





Athletic Director Ned 
Gonet's greatest joy is 
when former students 
return and he "sees what 
they've become . . . goals 
they've set and reached, 
what families they've 
developed, and careers 
they've chosen." 



beyond the wins and losses the invariables it brings to the situation and I think it's huge in a 
young person's life. The)' learn to cooperatively succeed and fail, and how to pick up and move 
on in lite." 

His greatest joy is when former students return and he "sees what they've become, and 
what kind of goals the\ Ye set and reached, and what families they've developed, and careers 
they've chosen I think they go back and realize that Ravenscroft was critical for setting the foun- 
dation for their future." 

Because someone at Ravenscroft invested time in them, encouraged them, believed in and 
never gave up on them, the students were able to succeed. 

"We're not everything to everybody It's not a perfect world, but once somebody goes 
through this school, they're prepared: they're prepared academically, they're prepared emotion - 
ally, and they're prepared to understand what it takes to succeed at the next level once they leave 
home." Gonet says. 




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Physical education at Ravenscroft begins in pre- 
Kindergarten, giving students the opportunity to get active 
and involved, interact with other students, and learn to 
work together as a team, while emphasizing individuality; 
Many students go on to organized athletics, but ever)' stu- 
dent is provided an education that combines lifelong skills 
for an active lifestyle, along with rigorous academics and 
exposure to a broad range of artistic expression. 

Cross-pollination within all of these realms is 
encouraged by an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual 
respect among teachers. Bell 1 1 1 tells the story of a young 
student in dance performing ballet on stage: "Obviously, she 
was a very good leaper and jumper. The track coach saw her 
and said, 'Why don't you come out and try high jump on 
the track team?' And I don't know if that ever would have 
crossed her mind. She tried high jump and became state 
champion. That happened because a teacher reached out 
and said, 'Come try something!' " 

Pruden describes another type of education hap- 
pening at the School: 

I in a great believer that a big part of educa- 
tion cannot be measured. You want kids to 
learn about everything from dealing with 
different types of people to responding to 
setbacks. I think those are all things that are 
part of the lessons, but there's no way you can 
grade somebody, so I often refer to this as the 
'ungraded curriculum.' These are the things 
we are trying to teach people, the things that 
students are learning and taking away from 
their Ravenscroft experience, but you would 
never see them specifically on a transcript. 





Head of School Doreen Kelly views the School through the metaphor of windows and 
mirrors " 1 want kids to be at a school where they can find themselves, they can turn a corner and 
have that mirror within the curriculum or within a teacher within a program in which the) 1 say, 
'I've discovered myself!' And at the same time, the) can turn a different corner and say, 'But I'm 
looking beyond myself and can look out the window and know that there's a world ' " 

Described as charismatic and warm, and with a laser focus on the School's mission and 
future, she says Ravenscroft "is all about the gift of high expectations in a world that overinflatcs 
how excellence is defined." The School allows children to experiment m areas in which they may 
not feel comfortable and experience "safe failure" to develop resilience 

"What I like about Ravenscroft in its entirety if 5011 look at its complete mission, vision, 
and values statement is that it makes room for the full interrogation ot lite That's not just the 
head, the heart, the athletics, but the spirit as well It's a safe place for big questions to be asked 
and explored, and children are encouraged to go on a journey." 

Ravenscroft is imbued with values honed sharp through its history, and it is those core 
values, consistently articulated, that Kelly says have created the atmosphere attracting generations 
of families to the school Parents, she said, want three things for their children: "They want them 
to be known; they want them to be cared for; and the; want their children to have learned to have 
some control of their environment. Put another way, the; want them to be good; they want them 
to be happy; and they w ant their children to be successful." 




"What I like about 
Ravenscroft in its 
entirety — if you look 
at its complete mission, 
vision, and values state- 
ment — is that it makes 
room for the full 
interrogation of life." 

— Doreen Kelly 
Head of School 




Beginning in Lower School, students participate in 
establishing their honor code, empowering them to set the 
standards by which they are expected to live and creating a 
more thoughtful process. Leadership, part of the "ungraded 
curriculum," is promoted from the earliest years as young stu- 
dents become line leaders, holding doors for their classmates. 
Responsibilities grow throughout the years as students take 
greater control of their school environment and become part- 
ners with teachers and administrators in the life of the School. 

The responsibilities of running a school as diverse, 
complex, and ambitious as Ravenscroft are all-consuming, 
but simple moments capture the heart and renew the energy 
required to lead according to Kelly. "That precious moment 
when a child tentatively lets go of a parent's hand and runs into 
the arms of their teacher takes my breath away each year!" 

The School strives to constantly honor its mission. 
Like a glittering thread, first sewn into the School's fabric in 
the 1800s, the mission continues to weave into every aspect, 
each stitch strengthening the cloth, enhancing its beauty, and 
honing its essence. 

This golden thread is spun from a faith in the educa- 
tional promise of Ravenscroft that stretches through its entire 
history back to the original gift. Generation upon generation 
have been called on to replenish and add to the legacy of Wat- 
son's bequest. 

Raleigh's growth in the mid-igoos created a need for 
more educational options, and the School was reconstituted in 
1937 In response to the needs of the community, the people of 
Christ Church parish gathered the financial resources together 
and built on legacy money from Watson's gift. Without the 
original bequest, the)' might not have gone forward with the vi- 
sion because, while there's always a connection of great people, 
financial resources are required to bring vision to reality 



Mission Statement 

The Ravenscroft 
community, guided by 
our legacy of excellence, 
nurtures individual poten- 
tial and prepares students 
to thrive in a complex and 
interdependent world. 



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"/ love to see that children 
have an opportunity to 
excel in whatever — 
academics, art, theater, 
physical education." 

— Fran Pugh 
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees 



The move to Fulls of Ncusc required a new 
generation to commit financial resources to a larger 
vision emboldened by the development of Research 
Triangle Park. This progressive explosion of growth in the re- 
gion reflected the need for a bolder approach to the small school 
on Tucker Street. A research and development center with global 
aspirations was a clarion call for education. 

Fran and Dr. Watson Pugh '38 were part of this new genera- 
ion, and her leadership over the life of the School comes from a core 
desire to create an unparalleled experience. 

1 love to see that children have an opportunity to excel 
in whatever— academics, art, theater, physical educa- 
tion. I've always been very keen on creating something 
really spectacular for the students. It's been an amazing 
experience to see and reflect on all we've accomplished. 
It's here forever. 

There are iconic names in the modern history of Ravens- 
croft, man)' engraved on the buildings that emerged from the rich 
soil of a forested land, touched only by nature. The Holding brothers 
spearheaded a movement that would include some of Raleigh's 
great benefactors. These names are to be honored along with the fami- 
lies, the parents, and grandparents of students who continue to endow 
the vast majority of financial support for the School. Steeped in the 
knowledge of their own child's growth, the; 1 expand on nn already con- 
siderable investment in tuition to become a part of something beyond 
themselves and their own children Ravenscrofts future. 

The present would be unimaginable without these names. 
The future will require new names to be added to the list believers in 
both the city and the School who are willing to sacrifice financially to an 
ideal that, in the end, is revealed in the face of a child, full of potential, 
taking his or her first steps on the path of knowledge. 




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"You know, when my dad 
went to this school it was 
all about Raleigh. When I 
went to this school, it was 
all about North Carolina. 
With my kids here, it's all 
about the world." 

— Bob Winston III W 



in education begins in the footsteps ol others but leads to paths 
undiscovered. Prevailing winds help chart the course, while new 
ideas and technologies steer in directions unknown to the traveler. 
The destination is not the goal; it is the journey that excites us. A 
strategic plan acts as compass, and teachers are the navigators as 
students step forward into the future. 

A history of remarkable achievements — overcoming 
tremendous obstacles, both financial and philosophical places 
Ravenscroft on the path with the strength and resources of an 
institution that has weathered change and risen to challenges. The 
ability to adapt and grow, written into the school's DNA, gives 
confidence to a sacred promise between teacher and student. Each 
child who enters these doors will be given the tools to survive in a 
future we can hardly imagine. 

This bold act of faith, looking into the future with hope, is 
what we call vision. It has been a hallmark of Ravenscroft throughout 
its history as leaders, not satisfied with the status quo, have forged 
into uncharted realms, becoming better and stronger with each step. 

While great vision is rare, great vision with resources is rarer 
still. Ravenscroft thrives both from a history ot visionaries and those 
who believed in their vision. It is a rare combination to be honored, 
cherished, and protected. 

The future begins now with each new child walking into 
a classroom. Their journey will see teaching methods based on 
technologies yet to be invented, but still rooted in a style crafted to 
the individual student. 

Ravenscroft teachers and administrators are constantly 
striving to include the latest discoveries, but as Colleen Ramsden. 
assistant head of school for academic affairs, cautions, technological 
advancement must be seen in a broader context. 








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We are going to continue to infuse technology into our schools, our classrooms, and 
our teaching, and that's the most important thing. The great benefit of technology 
doesn't come from just having the new and cool devices, but it's also how we're 
using them to improve learning. Our teachers are very intentional about how 
they're infusing technology into their classrooms. We're doing a lot of professional 
development to make sure teachers are up with current best practices. 

The tools used to teach adolescents are changing as fast as the technologically savvy young 
learners can adapt. Research has shown that reading online takes longer, but comprehension is greater. 
Teachers are trying to understand how that impacts both learning and their own teaching styles. Head 
of Middle School Denise Colpitts says the basics of reading, writing, history, science, and math skills 
remain the key ingredients of the curriculum, but the tools used to teach them arc changing. 

The future for us is to understand how learning and teaching are changing— 
children having technology devices and what that means for the learning process. 
Technology is just a tool, so how do we embrace that tool which is captivating 
to our students? Research says their brains are changing as they adapt to 
new technology, so how do we capitalize on the best way to work with them, 
understanding there are still basic skill sets they need. 



With any new innovation comes fear of consequences. Two thousand years ago, the written 
word began to replace oral traditions, and Socrates warned it would lead to superficial learning and 
thinking patterns. So, while these results need to be studied and appropriate solutions developed, 
Ravenscroft is utilizing the best technology to find a balance well suited for effective learning and 
brain development. 

A new strategic vision for the future, articulated by a planning team that includes board 
members, administrators, faculty', and consultants, along with the results of broad-ranging surveys, 
refines the ongoing mission of Ravenscroft into three distinct goals that encompass how the school 
educates, communicates, and grows. 

The first goal is for educational excellence and programmatic distinction, building upon 
an "outstanding core curriculum by enhancing teaching and learning, and developing programs of 
distinction that prepare students to learn, lead, and serve in a complex and interdependent world." 
Focusing on leadership, citizenship, and technology to complement core programs will distinguish 











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"... education implies . . . 
the foundation of knowl- 
edge. It is here that the 
impediments are removed, 
the bridges erected, the 
irregularities leveled, the 
directions set up, and the 
young traveler in the paths 
of knowledge conducted a 
short distance on the road 
he is afterwards by himself 
to pursue." 

— Rev. Dr. Richard Mason. 1 836 
Recto/; Christ Church, 1840-1874 



Ravenscroft programmatically as it seeks to burnish its reputation for educating students in both 
practical and moral knowledge. Commitment to professional development in a world where the 
tools of teaching and learning are rapidly advancing is an important component of the plan, which 
includes an emphasis on both faculty and staff compensation and prioritizing the facility needs of 
academics, athletics, and the arts. 

The second goal is to effectively tell the Ravenscroft story, clarifying and refining the 
message, and communicating through both traditional and innovative mediums to ensure an 
accurate and consistent understanding of the School in the broader community. Concurrently, the 
School will provide a targeted communication plan focused on attracting the finest students and 
families to Ravenscroft. 

The third goal is to build upon the legacy of financial stewardship and provide the 
appropriate resources to attract and retain talented students, faculty, and staff; maintain, improve, 
and expand facilities; and support new strategic initiatives. 

Phil 1 [igginson, assistant head of school for institutional advancement, articulates this 
goal for the future with its roots in the past: "We need a way to endow this institution to allow us 
to open the doors to great youngsters who may not have the ability to pay. How do we establish 
an institution that makes certain it honors Snow Holding's vision that 25 percent of this school 
would be students who couldn't necessarily afford it? That's vision. That's saying this school needs 
to open its doors to great children and great families without burdening them." 

A key component of the School's financial stewardship is continuing a culture of 
environmental best practices, reducing energy consumption, and maximizing environmental 
sustainability both as a means for financial savings and global citizenry 

These goals are embedded with a heart and soul that has run throughout Ravenscroft 's 
history, and part of that history is that change, when done thoughtfully and with a clear vision, can 
build on the past to create a sustainable future. 

"No place can stay static and continue to prosper and serve the students the way you 
want," according to Bill Pruden, head of Upper School,. "People have been conscious of that 
and have tried to work hard to keep the core values front and center as we make needed and 
appropriate changes, but again, try to keep it an eminently human place that serves young people." 

The challenges are daunting, but facing them is what Ravenscroft has always done. 
"People talk about real-world connections, and twenty first-century skills, and making a school 
relevant to students' lives," Colpitts relates, "and we've always done that We're just doing it in a 
different way now." 




The future is as unknown to us as our present would have been to Dr. Josiah Ogdcn 
Watson. But it is our dreams that will make it possible as surely as that first seed, delivered in the 
form of an idea and bequest, blossomed into the School we know today. 

It is a future guided by a philosophy of humble stewardship, summed up by Head of 
School Doreen Kelly, who knows that you can "never rest on the moment you say you're the best. 
You are always reaching for the next generation, how to excel, and how to be the best for the 
students who are coming through the pre-Kindergarten doors right now." 

Where will that future take us? If the past is any guide, it is a journey limited only by our 
imaginations 



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'There is not one specific memory that 
sums up my high school experience, but 
rather many instances that show the 
Class of 201 I 's camaraderie and unity. 
Because of the increase in unity in our 
class, new friends were made and new 
bonds were formed. It is my hope that 
these new friendships last through college 
and stick with us for the rest of our lives." 

— Sofia Armstrong ' I I 





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"In seventh grade, I found my niche . . .in the Fine Arts 
Center. One special teacher helped guide me and 
nurtured me in acting and fitting in with the Ravens 
around me; thanks to Angela Santuco, I went from 
'the new guy whose glasses make him look like Harry 
Potter mixed with John Lennon' . . . to becoming 
comfortably acclimated and one of the class." 

— Michael Santos 7 / 



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"This will be the pinnacle of our lives here 
at Ravenscroft, our gate to the future, 
and our canonization as the latest 
veneration of the Ravenscroft family." 




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